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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Pilates Workout Recap--plus Work-Out Wear Purveyors for the Big Gals

Yesterday was my fourth session. I'm getting used to constantly being in this state of soreness--worst the day after, but always a low-level sort of awareness that muscles are waking up, getting used. I rather like it.

My energy level and mood has improved A LOT. I kid you not.

Just two weeks of working out and I'm so much more chipper and bouncy. I even asked hubby to take a turn around the block with me--and I haven't done that in...I can't remember! It helped that it was a lovely early evening, warm, but not oppressive, breezy, beautiful summer evening light at 7pm. The royal poincianas are in bloom (as are my hibiscus and gardenia bush) and it was just so pretty out there in the calm of the late day.

So, what did we do today exercise-wise: We worked on both the reformer and the Cadillac. Core muscle work, especially inner thigh and abs and glutes. And some arm work on the Cadillac. She worked me hard, too. I had to stop a couple of times when I got to muscle fatigue (particularly inner thighs, which still hate me). But it was a great session, and I felt really good when she complimented my focus and effort. Trust me, the time goes sooo fast (55 minutes straight) because I'm all concentrating on breath, position, and the sheer hard effort needed to get in those stretched and contracted positions with control and smoothness.

I am not so hot at control or smoothness yet, obviously, but I always see improvement as the repetitions add up (ie, getting better as I get coordinated with the inhale/exhale and motions). It really is great for making you concentrate, no kidding. No mindless exercising at The Pilates Room.

My trainer, Liza, did suggest I put in my cardio work on non-Pilates days. That will be harder for me, as anything that is weight-bearing messes with my left knee, which is gimpy. But she and I agree a bike would be good, and she'll be giving thought to what else would work with my messy left knee.

If any of you are wondering what the heck a size 24/26/28/3X gal wears to do this sort of stuff, I got my outfits at various online places:

Danskin (Plus) The cotton lycra bootleg pants are non-binding and hugely comfortable. I wear them on errands and to casual get-togethers with my family. So soft. I also like their racer back tank, which allows me to get full arm movement with no binding. (I use a racer-back sports bra from Glamorise with this.) Wish they had some happy summer colors! I also like their leggings. However, with leggings, I like to use something with a slightly softer fit around the hips, like a great top from...

Old Navy (Plus) I got mad at Old Navy when they took the "fat gal" clothes out of the stores and put them exclusively online. Well, after a couple years of pique, I came across that very plus size section and found a TERRIFIC top for summer. It's a racer back tank (they all it diamond back), and it's cool, it's soft, and it's perfect for my Pilates workout. The fit is close enough for the instructor to see if I'm doing my breathing and imprinting and etc, but loose enough so I can wear long leggings without looking like a hootchie mama or a deranged woman. I like them with Old Navy's very comfy yoga capri leggings and their terrific yoga pants, too. Hubby thought the diamond back top was sexy. Heh. And I wore it to Starbucks and didn't feel weird with my arms exposed. Maybe the purple color gave me courage. :) (I think I bought the last purple one, but they have green and black, looks like.)

Junonia--much more expensive than Old Navy, but they only carry clothing for us large gals. They do have workout wear of thicker, longer-lasting, high-quality fabrics (including Quik-wik), but wait for a sale or find a promotional coupon online.

In case you are unaware of the "Promotional code" or "coupon code" treasure hunt (I use it all the time), just google up a store you want to buy from online (like Lane Bryant) and then use the terms "promotional code" or "coupon code" or a variation along with it. If there is a current promo, many sites (like Coupon Cabin) will offer you the codes for free. I used one for my Old Navy purchase and got 20% extra off clearance items.

Just about all my workout stuff (and I have a lot) come from those places above. Feel free to comment with any leads on good plus size workout wear (especially affordable wear) for me and this blog's readers.

Anyway, I expect to be pretty darn sore--more sore, I should say--tomorrow. But it's good!

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